Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Success!

I woke up every half hour last night, wondering if it was time to hit the sales. At one point I had a dream that I missed Black Friday all together and surprisingly enough, I wasn't too crushed about it. Right around that time I woke up, looked at my clock (4:10am) and I jumped out of bed... this was 5 minutes before my alarm went off. Yes, I was just a little excited. I made it to Toys R Us by 4:30am and waited outside in the rain until the store opened at 5am. I was about the 30th person in the store and I quickly grabbed a cart and headed down the main aisle. I brought my master list and knew exactly what I wanted. On Black Friday there is no messing around. It's not a day to just go and browse. I was lucky enough to find everything on my list (2 items were almost gone) and then I only had to wait about 5 minutes to check out. Painless and so fun. I was in and out of there in 20 minutes. Then I headed to another store and bought something for Jake (spent $25 and saved $35). Then I headed to Shopko. I had a toy in mind and as I was searching I saw there were none left. I went down another aisle and found a similar toy on sale but it was for the bigger one and cost $20 more. It was the last one so I took it and then heard a woman say behind me "She just took the last one." (She was referring to me and I felt a tiny bit guilty.) The line to the cash register wove in and out of aisles and took 25 minutes... not great, but not the worst I've waited in (Toys R Us one year I waited over an hour!) When I got to the cash register I saw on the counter the toy I originally wanted to get but was sold out. I asked the cashier if someone was going to buy that and she said "No. The lady changed her mind and gave them back." YES! I switched out the bigger one and got the cheaper one. (Again, I felt even more guilty now for that lady who wanted it and I took the last one. Oops.) After Shopko I rushed to the car and headed out to Wal-Mart. I figured the few things I wanted there would be gone since it was already a little after 6am. I pulled in at 6:30am and ran straight to the toys and to my surprise, there was plenty left of everything! It was awesome. I only waited about 5 minutes in line to check-out... again, awesome! Then I headed out to Old Navy and bought a few things. After that I hit two more stores (can't say what they are or Jake will know where I shopped) and bought everything I needed to get. Black Friday was a success! I was home just before 10am and bought all the items on my list. I figured out I saved an average of about 50% off everything I bought today. Not too shabby. The best part is Christmas shopping is 99% done. I just need to get 3 more presents, figure out my neighbor gifts, and stockings and then we are set. It's a great feeling and I love that we were able to save some money in the process. Another fun part of Black Friday is meeting other crazy shoppers, like myself. I met Laurel from West Valley at Shopko and Ryan and Shari at Toys R Us (they have 2 boys and were looking for Nintendo DS games). Fun times. It's 1:30pm now and I think my adrenaline rush is gone and I'm realizing I'm actually a little tired. I think I'll sleep pretty well tonight. ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My weight loss journey began 4 months 23 days ago. I weighed 170 and wore XL tops and size 14 jeans. I thought today I would dedicate a post to my weight loss journey, not just these past couple months, but over the past couple years. I have lost 25 lbs. now which puts me at 145. I wear medium tops and size 8 pants. I want to lose 15 more, but I'm excited about where I am and know I will get there eventually. It's no secret, though, that I have struggled in this department off and on for years. It's not easy watching your body morph into a whale-like creature over and over. With each pregnancy I gained quite a bit of weight and stretch marks. After each baby was born I seemed to lose the first 20 lbs. easily but then had to work very hard to get the rest of the weight off. Also, with nursing I seemed to hold onto the weight or even gain more, rather than lose it (which was really frustrating.) I gained 70 lbs, lost 70, gained 40, lost 40, gained 18, gained 50, lost 38, and then lost another 25 (where I'm at now) all in 6 1/2 years. Too many times I found myself crying to Jake, telling him how ugly I felt. I knew deep down this was my problem. No one could fix it for me. No one could run for me or lift weights for me. I felt it was unfair, though, watching others pop out babies and wear their size 2s home from the hospital. That just wasn't my luck. I have to work hard to lose weight. That's just a fact. That's why moments like these are so much sweeter to me, because it's something that takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. As I've been looking through old pictures this morning, I've found some that didn't get posted on my blog because I was embarrassed about how 'big' I looked. I like looking at where I've been though because it proves how far I've come and motivates me to keep going further. You know, I'm happy when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror. Of course there are things I would love to change (stretch marks gone and a little lift here and there) but overall, I like what I see... and that's something I haven't been able to say in a VERY long time (and I'm getting teary-eyed now, so I better stop.)

Here is a pic of Emma and I 2 weeks before Josh was born (weighing about 208!). I was so huge and miserable, but tried not to show it. ;) Anyone jealous of the stretch marks?! My Grammy told me they are war wounds and I agree with her.

I made this sling for Josh and was proud of myself, especially since it was probably the 10th time I used my sewing machine (around 175).

Here I am with Jake and our dear friends, the Crane's, Tate's, and Stacy Johnson (Brad was sick that night.) It was taken in January this year. I love the pic because our friends are in it, but cringe when I see myself because of my belly roll sticking out.

I was told once that I was the "fat sister." It really scarred me, especially after I saw this picture. I don't feel that way now. We are all beautiful and one person's opinion shouldn't matter to me.

My mom took this pic of Ben and I coming down a waterslide in Malaysia. I was really embarrassed after seeing my gut hang out, I didn't want to show it to anyone.

And here is my closet. Sunday I had to try on multiple outfits for church because nothing was fitting. I finally decided I needed to go through my clothes and take out anything that is too big and doesn't fit anymore so I know exactly what I have to work with. Well, here is what is left. (The plastic storage container has all my over-sized clothes.) I have 4 pairs of jeans (2 are a tad big and will be going in the bin soon.) 2 pairs of khakis (one pair is big). As for church clothes, I have 3 long skirts and 3 short skirts. Out of those, half are getting too big. Can you guess what I need for Christmas?! As great as this is, not so much for the checkbook. Hopefully I can get some good deals around Christmas!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bronchitis... Again

Monday I started getting a sore throat and cough. Then Tuesday it seemed to get a little worse. I was achy and felt lethargic, but no fever. Then Wednesday I had a fever throughout the whole day (100-103), nauseous, and my right lung really hurt. Wednesday night I was in a lot of pain and kept waking myself up because of it so around 3:30am I went downstairs and tried to get some sleep on the couch sitting up (it doesn't hurt as bad if I do that.) Then today I was miserable. I called Jake at lunch time and told him I wanted to go to Instacare when he got home from work. I had pneumonia almost exactly a year ago and bronchitis in March, and I've been feeling similar symptoms this time around so figured I should go get some antibiotics. Tonight the dr confirmed that I do have full blown bronchitis and my temp was 103.4. (No wonder I've been feeling so crappy!) I was given some antibiotics and some prescription strength cough syrup. The dr also told me to buy Mucinex D to help break up the junk in my lungs. When I went to the pharmacy, I noticed the Mucinex I was told to buy actually had to be given to me by the pharmacist. I also had to show picture ID and sign a form with my contact info. I found it very strange that I would have to do that for an OTC drug. You would have thought I was buying crack or something. Then Jake later told me that Mucinex has been used to make Meth. Interesting. Anyway, I'm hoping over the next couple days I'll get my energy back. I hate when I get sick, especially because the kids suffer. I think Ben and Emma watched 3 movies today while I passed out on the couch. Ugh. No fun. Jake also has a scout campout with his boys tomorrow night which isn't the greatest timing. Knock on wood none of the other kids get it. Ben has a runny nose, Emma is fine, but Josh has been congested and I worry he might be getting something. Hopefully I'm wrong.

It was interesting to hear from the dr that once you've had pneumonia it makes you more susceptible to bronchial problems. Hopefully this isn't something I'm going to have to deal with every year!

Sorry to be a downer. I do have one bit of exciting news! Take a look:

I really never thought I would see the day! This is the Chevron right down the street from our house. What's so incredible is that on the 4th of July gas at this very station was $4.15/gallon. Amazing! I'm actually excited to fill up the van tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Black Friday... 17 more days to go!

Are you READY?!!!

Yes, I'm one of those sick and twisted people who LOVE Black Friday. I haven't missed it in 3 years (this will be #4.) I remember my first Black Friday, walking into Toys 'R Us right as it opened and feeling this rush of adrenaline pump through my veins as I practically sprinted through the store. I grabbed the Leap Frog table that was 50% off and within 10 minutes they were all GONE. It was insanity, watching people snatch toys off the shelves at record speed, filling multiple carts, and then waiting over an hour just to check out. I loved it, though. Last year my sister, Whitney, joined me and we were smart and split up, using our cell phones as walkie-talkies so we could check-in with each other every couple minutes. She went to Mervyns and I went to JC Penny. Then we headed to Toys 'R Us... again, a mad house. So, here we are, only 17 days to go until another Black Friday is here. I love reading the ads on Thanksgiving and plotting out my course. So, be honest... any other closet (or openly proud) Black Friday lovers out there??

(And for any of you wondering if Jake gets as excited as I do about this wonderful day, I guess you will just have to ask him. ;) )

PS I was just told by someone who will remain nameless that this post might come across as me being materialistic. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good deal and that's the thrill I get from shopping on Black Friday. I'm not a shop-a-holic. I don't buy myself and everyone I know thousands of dollars worth of stuff for the holidays. It's not about that. It's about the deals... and the adrenaline that comes along with racing around stores with people who are just as crazy as me. Can't Santa have fun while saving a buck or two?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dad, don't read this post!

So, we have had our Honda Odyssey for almost 2 years. When we found out we were pregnant with Josh, our #3, we knew our tiny Toyota Corolla wouldn't work for us anymore. We were down in Klamath Falls at the time and there were slim pickings for cars there so I had my dad test drive a couple for us in Portland and he gave us the thumbs up for this one. We got our loan and drove up that weekend and purchased the van. Well, like I said, here it is coming on two years and I discovered something yesterday. We were on our way home from Stake Conference. Jake was driving and I was in the passenger seat. All of a sudden I said to Jake "My butt is getting warm. I think there is a warmer in the seat." Jake didn't think we had that feature but I could have sworn my dad had mentioned something about that when we first bought our car. I looked all over for a switch to see what had just happened. I quickly pulled out the Honda Odyssey manual in the glove compartment and found the section on "seat heaters." Yes. Our van has seat heaters. I must have accidentally pushed the switch down when I climbed into the car. Now, I promise you I am a fairly intelligent person, who is pretty anal about researching facts and details about things I'm about to purchase. So, how did I miss this?! (I'm sure my dad is rolling his eyes right now and chuckling a little to himself.) I feel like this little switch has opened a door to a whole new world that I never knew existed. As I was taking Ben to kindergarten this morning, I pushed that magical little switch and instantly it didn't feel like it was 40 degrees and rainy. I felt like I was in Jamaica, as my butt and back were wrapped in warmth. It's like I've just dug up a pile of cash that I was told was buried here years ago, but was forgotten, and now that I'm poor, I feel like I've hit the jackpot. It's that good. (Not really, but I had to make it sound somewhat dramatic.) Jake will probably laugh that I even posted about this, but I thought it was sort of amusing so a blog post it is.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thank You, Parsons Behle

The litigation department at Jake's firm planned a weekend get-away for the attorneys and their spouses at the Sundance Resort. It was wonderful, sneaking away for a mini retreat (mini, meaning 16 hours). We dropped the kids off at Jake's parents' house last night and then headed down there and arrived around 7:30pm. There was a delicious buffet-style dinner being served, which included freshly baked bread, salad, green beans, rosemary potatoes, pistachio crusted halibut, and pepper crusted beef filet (YUM!) For dessert they had vanilla bean cheesecake with triple berries and to-die-for key lime pie. Let's just say I splurged a little on my calories for the night! (A girl can cheat every once in awhile, right?!) We were in good company, sitting by Dave and Stevie Mangum, our good friends (and Bishop) from our time up at the University Village. I had never been to Sundance before so didn't realize how rustic the set-up was. Jake and I loved it. We stayed in a Mandan cottage. It was very simple and welcoming. Jake made a fire and we were warm and cozy all night. In the morning the firm hired a yoga instructor to teach a class and I made it just in time. This was my very first yoga class and I really liked it. I didn't know exactly what to expect. When I see yoga classes going on at the gym I just figure it is a lot of stretching, no real workout involved, so that's probably why I have never tried it. I have to say, though, about 10 minutes into it I was feeling a little warm and a tad sweaty. It was quite relaxing. I also enjoyed watching 10 male attorneys trying to hold the "tree" pose and maneuver into the down dog position. Quite hysterical. Jake said he would have no part in it, so he came in late and read the paper, casually glancing up at us as he quietly ate his bagel. After the class, we were served a light breakfast: bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal, etc. Then we were ushered into a large room for a 3-hour seminar on stress management and drug abuse, supposedly two things many attorneys are known to struggle with. It was very interesting. Having a psych degree, I eat this stuff up. I really loved when we started talking about the different functions of the brain and how certain drugs affect it. (I think Jake zoned in and out for that part, but mostly he found it all very interesting too.) Another plus was the firm provided two massage therapists to give massages at any time during the presentation. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE massages. When I heard the "m" word, I immediately started planning my route to the massage chair. The whole weekend was great. The kids did well at Jake's parents' place (thanks you guys for all your help!) Overall, it was a very relaxing and rejuvenating 16 hours. ;)

PS The pictures definitely don't do this place justice. Jake didn't want to pose for the second picture, so that's what I got. If you're really curious, check out their webpage:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Obama

Last night was a historical night for not just America, but the world. Obama's speech was truly inspiring, bringing me to tears. I know many fear this change. With a democrat in the White House, and dems having the majority in the Senate and the House I'm sure some are terrified. You know though, this is what the majority of the country wants right now so we should try and be respectful of that. Sure, we can disagree... the beauty of a democracy. But like both Obama and McCain said, it's time to unite and become the United States of America. I have faith in my new President. The next four years are going to be tough. He has made a lot of promises and time will tell how this administration handles the nation's problems and if they honor those promises. I'm excited and hopeful, though. We've hit rock bottom as a nation and really have no where to go but up!

The picture above I just had to post. Our Obama sign went missing Sunday. It was gone when we got home from church. I found it yesterday morning, crumpled up in the gutter down the street. Jake said the wind did it, but I find it very hard to believe that the wind would bend both rods in half, and then the middle piece in half as well. Our neighbors' signs are still up so I'm not buying it. I tried to bend the rods back as best as I could and I jammed the sign back into the lawn. It looks very beat up, but who cares. I think it has character now. ;) Also, one funny story before I end about my voting experience. I arrived to vote 20 minutes before the polls opened and was voter #4. Voter #3 (I'll call him Bob) told me he was saving a spot for his son, who had to be to work early and I said that was fine. When his son got there, Bob started speaking out loud for all in the line to hear how this was the "worst day in history" and our nation was "going to fall apart." Then I heard Bob tell his son that if Obama gets elected he's going to stock up on ammo and gallons of gasoline this week. WHAT THE HECK?! All I have to say is I live around some big CRAZIES!

If you haven't seen Obama's acceptance speech, here it is:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thankful to be a Mom

Just before bed last night, Ben asked me to come sit by him. I snuggled next to him and then Emma raced over and lunged onto the couch. Then Josh wanted in on the fun, so I pulled him up on my lap. They all gave me a huge hug and then we read a story out of the Friend together. It was one of those perfect "mom moments" that make you realize this really is the best job in the world. My kids are so sweet and Jake and I feel blessed to have them in our family. Ben, Emma, and Josh... We love you.

When the two older kids went to the bathroom to brush their teeth, Josh was in a really silly mood. The first pic I caught him laughing, and the second was the beginning of his "scrunchy" face. What can I say? We make adorable kids!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cats, Bats, and Transformers

It's hard to believe that Halloween has come and gone. With my parents in town visiting, it made the holiday even more fun for us and the kids. It was a very busy day! We went down to Provo to pick up my sister, Whitney, eat lunch at Chuck-A-Rama per Ben's request, and then visit my Grandma McDonald and Aunt Rhonda. Then we visited my Grammy and Grandpa Call in West Valley so the kids could show off their costumes. After that we headed over to Jake's parents' house so the kids could trick-or-treat there and get some delicious homemade Halloween sugar cookies. We got back home around 6pm and then left again to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. The kids had a ball and by the end of the night were exhausted and doped up on more than the legal limit of sugar for a child. After we put them to bed, the adults relaxed on the sectional and watched "Mamma Mia!" (No, it has not been released in the stores yet. Let's just say my parents have some connections in Malaysia. Wink. Wink.) It was a cute show and Jake even made it through the whole thing without barfing, so that's saying something (although he did roll his eyes a couple times and possibly gagged, I'm not sure. ;) ) It was a fun night and we were all sad to see my parents and Whitney leave. Here are a couple more pictures taken the past couple days.

My sister, Whitney, and I at my Grammy Call's house. (Hey BOYS, she's SINGLE!)

Josh at a Halloween party we went to. He LOVES fruit so I thought a bat would be the perfect costume for him. He's for sure the cutest bat I've ever seen!

Jake is probably going to want me to delete this picture once he realizes I posted it here. Too bad. And no, he did not wear the wig the whole day... maybe 15 seconds, just long enough for me to take the picture.
Ben, the Bumblebee Transformer, with Whitney (aka Peter Pan).

Josh at Jake's parents' house. Adorable.

Emma, the pink kitty cat. When we were looking at costumes last month, I told her she could pick any costume she wanted. She was very specific and told me she wanted to be a kitty cat with a pink tail. I looked all over and then found this costume on eBay. She fell in love with it instantly. The faux pink fur is her favorite part, of course. Oh, and the make-up.

Ben, the Transformer. Funny thing is, I don't think he has ever even seen a transformer show. He knows it's cool though and I guess that's all that matters.

We hope you all had a great Halloween! I'm so excited for the holidays coming. It's such a special time of year.

Jake's Blog

My cute husband decided after seeing the interest my Obama post generated that he would start his own blog of sorts.  Comments, discussions, and debates are welcome.  Check it out:

PS No, we did not go on some European adventure and not tell anyone.  The picture was taken in May 2004 when we visited Paris for a week, but I'm on his laptop and this is about the only picture of him on the hard drive.  I know what you're thinking but it's too bad.  Step back, ladies.  He's all mine.